·SIUE Graduate Student From O’Fallon Wins Fulbright Scholarship
·Lummi Tribe Member To Speak At SIUE Religious Center
·Astrophysicist To Speak At SIUE June 30; To Focus On Unique Project
·SIUE Wins National Design Competition For The Second Year
·K. Heather Named Employee Of The Month For June
·The Boy Friend Continues Summer Showbiz 2008 At SIUE
·BOT Awards Contracts Worth Over $6.5 Million For SIUE Projects
·SIUE Reaccredited; Higher Learning Commission Gives High Marks
·Two SIUE Scholars Receive Vaughnie Lindsay Awards
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) When Southern Illinois University Edwardsville graduate student Amanda Wiehl was growing up as an Air Force brat, she spent 10 years in Germany with her family. That growth experience will come in handy when Wiehl leaves for Poland in September for a nine-month teaching assistantship as a Fulbright U. S. Student Scholar. From September until June 2009, Wiehl will live in Poznan, Poland, and teach English at the Institute of Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University. She is one of the very few SIUE students over the years to win a Fulbright.
Receiving the prestigious Fulbright Award was more than just a dream come true, Wiehl said. It was also quite a shock. “I really didn’t think I was going to get it,” said the 24-year-old O’Fallon woman. “It’s a very competitive award. A chance like this doesn’t come around very often—to be able to study and teach, and get a good cultural experience. I see it as a really great opportunity.”
The Fulbright Program is a 62-year-old international educational exchange program that is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its inception, more than 286,000 American students, scholars and teachers have traveled to 155 countries where they studied, shared ideas and took part in cultural interactions. Wiehl joins 1,450 other Fulbright awardees who will travel overseas during the 2008-09 academic year. She will complete her graduate studies in SIUE’s Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Program in August before boarding a plane for Poland.
But this is not her maiden voyage to live and teach in a foreign nation. Last summer, she spent a month in Mexico, teaching English to college professors at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Cuernavaca Campus. During spring semester 2006, she was a student teacher at a U.S. Army base in Heidelberg, Germany. “That was a great experience,” said Wiehl, who is teaching English as a second language to adults at Southwestern Illinois College this summer. “I really enjoyed it.”
Preparing her application packet for the Fulbright was not easy, Wiehl said. There were many difficult tasks to complete just to get to the secondary review stage, including composing an essay that she spent 10 months writing and revising. “I wasn’t holding my hopes too high,” she recalled with a laugh. “There were some great people who put in their applications. It was a very long process. But all that hard work paid off.” Past recipients of the Fulbright Award include writer Gish Jen; Alejandro Jara, deputy director-general of the World Trade Organization; Metropolitan Opera soprano Renee Fleming; and Aneesh Raman, CNN Middle East correspondent.
Wiehl, who earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education from Missouri State University, said she couldn’t have done it (earned a Fulbright) without the help of her faculty mentors in SIUE’s Department of English Language and Literature. “I feel very confident about this and how they prepared me for various situations,” Wiehl said. “The TESL Program at SIUE has made me a very rounded teacher. I am sure there will be challenges (in Poland), but I know it will be a good experience altogether. I know I'm prepared.”
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Pauline Hillaire, of the Lummi Tribe, will give presentations, “Coast Salish Spirituality and Sustainability,” in sessions at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Religious Center from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. each day for four days from Wednesday, June 25, through Saturday, June 28. Sessions are open to the public. Hillaire will present Coast Salish teachings, songs and stories for all ages. Guests may attend any of the sessions or all of them; there is no admission charge but donations will be accepted.
Hillaire’s visit is sponsored by the WoRKS (World Religions, Knowledge, and Science) Group Edwardsville which offers distinguished speakers and dialogues at the Religious Center, a geodesic dome and natural planetarium designed by R. Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao. A focus of the WoRKS Group, in keeping with Fuller’s philosophy, is sustainability.
As this year’s Annual Celebration of World Faiths, Hillaire's presentations will offer opportunities to learn from a native grandmother and “culture-bearer” from the Lummis in Bellingham, Wash., one of many Coast Salish Tribes of the Pacific Northwest. A musician, storyteller, and cultural historian, her father, Joseph Hillaire, was recorded in the 1950s for the Smithsonian Institution and Library of Congress collection of music of Puget Sound.
Pauline Hillaire has consulted on cultural projects and grants and has taught for Northwest Indian College, Evergreen State College, Northwest Folklife, Seattle Public Schools and other institutions. Fluent in four languages, her parents taught her traditional songs in the Lummi language (Ka lemi), Halkomelem and Chinook Jargon. “I am sharing songs that my father left for the children of the Universe,” Hillaire said. “We work hard to pass on our traditions with integrity… As native people, our value system is based on our relationship to the land…We manifest our value system through music, dance, art, the legends of our elders. We demonstrate our value system through these arts.”
At the eight SIUE sessions Hillaire will be assisted by Rebecca Chamberlain, member of the faculty at Evergreen State College in Olympia. Chamberlain is a well known Northwest writer, storyteller and educator who has worked for decades with native elders for the preservation of Puget Sound Salish language and cultural traditions. Chamberlain says, “Today it is more important than ever for students to be grounded and connected imaginatively to the world that is evolving around them. Whether they become storytellers, poets, philosophers, psychologists, physicists or environmental scientists shaping policy or solving global warming, respect for Earth as our first teacher prepares them for the important work of the 21st century.”
Funding for these events has been provided by a grant from the Metanexus Institute (www.metanexus.net) with matching funds from SIUE’s Graduate School, Office of the Provost, the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences, the SIUE Department of Philosophy, the University Religious Council and the Friends of the Religious Center. The Friends organization is dedicated to the preservation of the 37 year old Center and also supporting programs for the students and the University community at the Center.
Maps and directions are available (www.siue.edu/maps). Parking is available for $1 per hour in Visitor’s Lot B, between the Religious Center and the Morris University Center; parking is free on Saturday. For more information, contact the Religious Center, (618) 650-3246, or visit the Web site: www.siue.edu/religion.
Click here for a photo of Pauline Hillaire at the Religious Center
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) If you’ve ever wanted to meet someone who truly knows that space IS the new frontier, this is your chance. On June 30 in Meridian Ballroom, on the first floor of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Morris University Center, Oxford astrophysicist Chris Lintott will discuss his work with Galaxy Zoo, a hugely popular scientific project wherein more than 145,000 amateur astronomers from around the world are helping to classify and record galaxies.
Lintott will focus his talk on the results of the unique project which, in its first 180 days, resulted in more than 40 million galaxy classifications. His lecture, “The Science from Galaxy Zoo, or What To Do with 125,000 Astronomers,” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Using digital images from the Zoo’s massive online database, Galaxy Zoo volunteers attempt to determine the type and rotation of each galaxy they view. Lintott and other scientists are using the findings in their ongoing study of the makeup of the universe.
Lintott said he’s been shocked by the number of armchair astronomers who’ve signed up to help. “I thought we’d get a few thousand a month and work with that data in about three years. But this response has been absolutely phenomenal,” he said. “A lot of fans of science are getting a chance to play along with us professionals.” Galaxy Zoo has been so successful that Lintott and his team are preparing to launch Zoo 2 which will take the study of the universe to a higher plane. “Zoo 2 will ask more detailed questions, because now we’re confident that the public can work at the same level as scientists,” Lintott added.
Lintott’s talk at SIUE will begin with an “impressive simulation” of the evolution of the universe, but he admitted that his Zoo project’s “large-scale study of the universe” will likely alter many preconceived perceptions of galaxy formation. “We need to understand what drives the galaxies to evolve—their history, their shape, where the galaxies live within the universe. To do that, this kind of study is necessary.”
Galaxy Zoo 2 will be up and running in the next few weeks, and Lintott said there will still be a need for the public’s help. “We didn’t realize how powerful this would be,” Lintott said. “The amount of data scientists obtain is becoming larger than we can handle ... recruiting help from the public provides a solution.”
Since Galaxy Zoo’s startup, Lintott is discovering that more scientific agencies are seeking help from the general public. NASA has likewise “put out a call” for help in scanning photos of Mars taken by their high-resolution cameras. “It’s happening all over the place,” Lintott said. “Part of what I’m doing now is seeing how this can be applied everywhere.”
Lintott also co-hosts the popular BBC television show, The Sky at Night, the groundbreaking broadcast that first aired live photos of Soviet probe photographs of uncharted regions of the lunar surface in 1959. Also hosting the show is Sir Patrick Moore, the respected astronomer who launched the show in 1957. Also coauthor of the book, Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, Lintott’s collaborators are Moore and Brian May, founder of the rock band Queen, who has earned a reputation—and a doctorate in astrophysics—for his knowledge of astronomy.
After the June 30 talk, Lintott will be available for signing his book, which will be available for purchase in the SIUE Bookstore.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) A team of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville industrial and manufacturing engineering (IME) students recently won first place at the national Unigraphics computer aided design competition, the second year in a row that an SIUE team has won the national competition and the fifth year in a row that an SIUE team has ranked in the top three. Unigraphics is design software developed by SIEMENS PLM Software, sponsors of the competition.
This year’s winning SIUE team—Grant Donohue, Corey LaBarge, Ashley Robeen and Caleb Gerber—designed a cost-effective and environment-friendly product, “Ameriblock,” with dual usages: as modular shipping containers replacing traditional large-size metal shipping containers and also as structural components replacing concrete/bricks. The team of SIUE undergraduate engineering students was assembled in January and worked on the project under the supervision of IME Professor H. Felix Lee and Construction Management Associate Professor Kerry Slattery.
Lee said a common practice in the shipping industry is to transport products such as grain overseas using metal shipping containers. “It is often costly to have the containers shipped back empty after their initial use,” Lee said. “The Ameriblock will be made of PVC, a recyclable material with qualities that make it long lasting and structurally sound. The interlocking feature on the Ameriblock will hold the blocks together for secure transportation,” Lee said. “With Ameriblock, a company would save about $80 per shipping container instead of using a 40-foot steel container.
“After products are shipped to a destination, Ameriblock can then be re-used as a building block for retaining walls, barriers, or houses,” Lee explained. “An Ameriblock house would be 35 percent more cost effective than a standard brick house found in underdeveloped countries, for example.”
In the finals of the competition, the SIUE team beat four schools—Virginia Tech, McMaster University in Canada, Michigan Tech and The Principia. Robeen attended Unigraphic’s week-long conference in Orlando, Fla., to make a presentation about SIUE’s winning entry. “The basic idea of this project was originated by a local entrepreneur who came to SIUE for engineering and technical help,” Lee said. “The team’s design is shown to be cost effective, structurally sound and time saving.”
Click here for photo suitable for print. The photo taken at the Unigraphics conference in Orlando shows Ashley Robeen with (from left) Tord Dennis, Teamcenter Product Marketing Manager for SIEMENS PLM Software, and Bob Chalou, PACE Program Director for the mechanical engineering program at Michigan State University and Academia Focus Group leader for PLM World.
Congratulations: Kristine Heather, a special events facilitator for the School of Nursing, is the June recipient of the Employee Recognition Award. She is shown in the photo with Vice Chancellor Kenneth Neher, who presented the award. She was nominated for the award by her supervisor, Angie Peters, director of development for the School. In addition to the plaque she received, Heather was awarded a $25 gift certificate to the SIUE Bookstore, a parking spot close to her office for one month, and two complimentary lunch coupons to the University Restaurant. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)
Click here for photo.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Boy Friend, Sandy Wilson’s comedy first performed on Broadway in 1954 with “newcomer” Julie Andrews in the role of Polly, takes us back to the Roaring ’20s when everyone was recovering from World War I. The lively comedy makes its Southern Illinois University Edwardsville debut at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19, and continues Friday-Saturday, June 20-21 and June 26-28, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 22 and 29, all in the theater at SIUE’s Katherine Dunham Hall.
Set on the French Riviera, young Polly, a millionaire’s daughter, bemoans the fact she doesn’t have a boy friend, but the problem is solved when she meets a delivery boy, Tony, who becomes her escort to the fancy dress ball. The play is full of great characters—haves and have-nots—who not only provide the laughs but also show us some great Charleston dancing. Director and Choreographer Michael Thomas, a member of the SIUE dance faculty, says he is choosing to direct the play as a broad comedy. “Each of these characters is over the top, which makes the musical even that much funnier,” Thomas said. “And, as a dancer and choreographer myself, you can bet there’ll be lots of production numbers on stage.
Thomas said he didn’t want to do “traditional Charleston choreography,” so he’s added several twists and turns to liven the audience reaction. “I'm so lucky to have such great talent among our dance chorus,” Thomas said. “Many of them are my dance students, but there are a few in there who are performance majors but who do double duty. It’s all great fun and I’m excited about the production, and I know the audience will be, too.”
Thomas said his first experience with The Boy Friend was as an audience member at an “underfunded” community theater group production in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. “I was 16 and probably obsessed with love,” Thomas said. “It’s been awhile, and today I’ve learned not to take love so seriously...but, I haven't quite abandoned the whole idea, either. I know this for certain, I love this story, and I love theater.” He also revealed a lifelong fascination with theater but gravitated to dancing rather than acting. “I was satisfied with a vicarious relationship with the stories on stage that represented me,” Thomas said. “I grew to learn that theater wasn’t my own special shadow box, but instead, an amazing universal representation of humanity.”
He points out that The Boy Friend may be a “silly, spoofy, wacky production” but it may also reveal some basic truths about people. “So, how does The Boy Friend rank in terms of profound revelation or unlocking life's questions? I invite you to discover this for yourself. You’re in there,” Thomas says. “The mirror may be adorned with the trappings of a sparkling, heel-kicking good time, but the reflection will be that of anyone who has experienced the desperation of first-love.”
Tickets for The Boy Friend are $15; non-SIUE students, seniors (65+), SIUE faculty and staff: $12. SIUE students registered for summer classes are free with a valid University ID. For tickets or for more information, call the Fine Arts box office, (618) 650-2774, or toll free, (888) 328-5168, ext. 2774. Visit the Web site: www.siue.edu/THEATER.
Click on the Photo numbers at right to access photos suitable for print: Photo 1 | 2 The boys and girls of The Boy Friend have fun on the French Riviera during the production number, Sur Le Plage. (SIUE Photo by Bill Brinson)
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today awarded more than $6.5 million in contracts to nine Illinois companies and a Missouri company for two proposed construction projects on the SIU Edwardsville campus. The board also approved a $2.4 million revised budget for one of the projects to better reflect planned upgrades. The bids and project budget increase were final approval at the board's regular monthly meeting conducted on the SIU Carbondale campus.
A contract worth $1,258,650 was awarded to R.W. Boeker Co. of Hamel for general contracting work on the Early Childhood Center expansion. Other contracts were awarded to Rakers Electric of Aviston, $222,130 for electrical; Automatic Fire Sprinkler LLC of Normal, $33,300, for fire protection; Bel-O-Sales & Service of Belleville, $56,615, for heating, and $117,232, for ventilation; and GRP Mechanical Co. Inc. of Bethalto, $179,500, for plumbing.
The board originally approved the expansion with a $2 million budget but later it was discovered that a proposed upgrade of the HVAC to a gas system, relocation of a water line and upgrade to the storm shelter area would raise the cost another $400,000. The project is expected to be completed by March and it will be paid for through an internal University loan and through Early Childhood Center user fees and University Operating Funds.
The board also awarded Poettker Construction Co. of Breese a contract worth $3,710,500 for general contracting on the Vadalabene Center repair and improvement project. Contracts for the Vadalabene Center project also were awarded to K&F Electric Inc. of Belleville, $299,940, for electrical; Dreyer Investment Corp. of St. Charles, Mo., $54,850, for fire protection; France Mechanical Corp. of Edwardsville, $123,800, for heating, and $177,800, for ventilation; and Amsco Mechanical Inc. of Granite City, $293,712, for plumbing.
The entire Vadalebene Center project, which was approved by the board with a $6 million budget at its September meeting, will replace a 23-year-old bleacher system and take advantage of space opportunities including office, classroom and storage space under the new bleachers for Intercollegiate Athletics and for the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education in the SIUE School of Education. The project also includes expansion of public restroom facilities in the center. Seating inside the gymnasium will remain at 3,500. The project is expected to be completed in phases, with the main gym floor finished by Oct. 18, the upper bleachers and restrooms completed by Oct. 24, and offices and classrooms finished by Dec. 15.
In other business today, the board also approved an $8 increase in the School of Pharmacy Student Technology fee, from $208 per semester last year to $216 per semester beginning in fall semester. The fee provides for student laptops, as well as risk insurance and replacement for the units. The increase will allow for replacement laptop batteries and an upgrade to Windows Vista. The laptops are needed for the students to access course materials through the School's course management system, as well as library resources, online assessments and research.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Southern Illinois University Edwardsville recently was notified of its reaccreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accrediting association for SIUE, through the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). This year marks the second consecutive time that SIUE has earned high marks during the reaccreditation process, a procedure that assesses the 50-year-old University’s commitment to academic excellence.
At SIUE, an AQIP review panel evaluates campus wide learning tools to ensure the tenets of the Higher Learning Commission are met. That comprehensive involvement is what sets AQIP apart from traditional accreditation which utilizes the Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ), said SIUE’s Victoria Scott. “It’s unusual that we involve as many people as we do across the campus,” said Scott, director of Assessment in the Office of the SIUE Provost. “This allows the engagement of all of us in the role of continuous quality improvement. It’s not something that's done at just the administrative level. Everyone is involved.”
Every seven years, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a committee of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, requires each learning institution in its 19-state region either to be evaluated by a team of HLC professionals or to self-evaluate using AQIP, which is designed and affirmed by them. AQIP assessment is performed through an ongoing series of self-evaluations, portfolios and reports that are then reviewed by a panel of outside academics appointed by HLC. These academics review SIUE’s internal assessment procedures, their Action Projects which employ improvement strategies, the level of faculty and student engagement in scholarly processes and the effectiveness of teaching practices, among other elements.
Assessment team members check to ensure the school’s long-term and short-term goals continue to meet standards set by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and that strategic planning seeks input from all levels on campus. The outcome of this most recent evaluation showed that SIUE “demonstrates a commitment” to academic excellence in all key areas, a grade report that was not surprising to Scott, considering the calls that she’s been getting from other universities. “We always do really well,” Scott said. “I frequently get calls from institutions who ask to look at our (systems) portfolio, which we use as an example for them. It’s very encouraging for other people to see we’re doing such a good job. To have others recognize that is extremely important. We have succeeded in establishing a culture of assessment at SIUE.”
The University first adopted AQIP in 2000, one year after the pioneering self-improvement program was launched. Prior to that, University administrators had used the PEAQ system, which Scott said differed in scope and perhaps offered less flexibility for improvement. As opposed to an ongoing series of assessments, the traditional accreditation process was a “huge massive event” that did not stress continual improvements. Unlike PEAQ, the current AQIP procedures are easier to manage. “Improvement is never on the back burner,” she said. “Because SIUE has an ongoing relationship with the Higher Learning through AQIP, we can make adjustments on a yearly basis instead of several years down the line.”
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Two renowned scholars at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville are new recipients of research grants that will catapult them to the forefront of their intellectual careers.
Lucian Stone, assistant professor of Philosophy and advisor to the Religious Studies minor in the SIUE Department of Philosophy, and Guim Kwon, assistant professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the SIUE School of Pharmacy, will each receive research grants of $12,500 as winners of the Vaughnie Lindsay New Investigator Award. The awards are intended to give qualified faculty the opportunity to make significant advancements in their field of discipline. This marks the inaugural year for the awards.
Stone, who received a doctorate at SIU Carbondale, is an internationally recognized scholar of Islamic philosophies. Much of his work has focused on the prolific 12th-century Persian poet, Farid al-Din’Attar, widely thought to be among the best Muslim philosophers and student of prominent Sufis (Muslim mystics). Kwon spent 12 years performing research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Her work examines the effects of diabetes on the pancreas. She plans to focus on the relationship between obesity and type 2 diabetes, with specific emphasis on the effects of adiponectin on pancreatic ß-cell growth and proliferation.
The New Investigator Awards recognize faculty who will make groundbreaking discoveries through creative and empirical work during their year long term. Stone and Kwon will publish scholarly work and, ideally, receive additional externally sponsored grants to continue research. The grants may be used for travel, equipment and supply purchases, graduate or contractual assistance or course release. SIUE's Christa Johnson said the new winners were chosen after an arduous month-long evaluation process. “We had many outstanding applicants, which made it very difficult to make a selection,” said Johnson, associate dean of Graduate Studies and Research. “These two already had impressive publication records in leading journals and other important venues.”
Having been "very highly recommended" by their department chairs and deans, the winners will be expected to ramp up their respective research projects, which Johnson called very innovative. “They’re both doing cutting edge research in their fields,” Johnson said. “The whole purpose of these New Investigator Awards is to support them so that they can have the chance to become more successful researchers.”